OUR TEAM

team-michelle MICHELLE PAIRITZ

PRINCIPAL
CHICAGO, IL
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Michelle started in graphic design and soon landed a role as a recruiter and loved it. With over 18 years of creative staffing experience, some of the smartdept’s biggest clients started off looking for work through Michelle over 15 years ago. Michelle is also mom to four girls and painter of potentially famous artwork. She loves to travel, listen to Grateful Dead and cook. Foods she will wrestle you for include pretzels and cheese.

team-eric ERIC PAIRITZ

PRINCIPAL
CHICAGO, IL
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Eric is a graduate of the Ringling School of Art and Design and worked as a print designer in healthcare before beginning his now 17-year career in creative staffing. He is a water-skier, runner and rabid Cubs fan. His best sports achievement would have to be hitting a home run during Cubs fantasy camp. Dad to four beautiful daughters, he is also very used to being outnumbered. And his baseball card collection is probably better than yours.

team-matt MATT CROOK

PRESIDENT
CHICAGO, IL
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Matt has 20 years of staffing experience in creative, IT, financial services and administrative placement, working with both privately held and global firms. He is a father of four and has been married for 20 years. He’s very involved with his kids and community, coaching basketball and baseball, but prefers not to be called “Coach” around the office. Matt is a Chicagoland native and huge fan of all major city sports teams (minus the White Sox).

angi ANGI BUDNICK

HUMAN RESOURCE GENERALIST
CHICAGO, IL
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Angi is a people person and although her focus has been on training and development, her most recent HR adventures have been on the generalist side. With her husband of 20 years, two teenagers and an 8-pound Mal-Shi (that’s fancy talk for a combination of Maltese and Shih Tzu), Angi spends her free time driving to and watching youth sports. Angi is a foodie who loves sports, laughing out loud and conquering projects that baffle most others.

leah-bye LEAH BYE

RECRUITING MANAGER
CHICAGO, IL
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With a background in retail management, Leah traded merchandising eclectic home goods and knick-knacks you never knew you needed for helping place interesting creatives with smartdept. While she still spouts fashion advice in her spare time, she has excelled over the last several years at helping folks make the next move in their careers. Her famous people tally includes David Crosby and the Dalai Lama, but she is still waiting to meet Johnny Depp (she’s also an eternal optimist).

jaime_sklar JAIME SKLAR

CREATIVE CONSULTANT
CHICAGO, IL
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Jaime attended college in Boulder, Colorado, where she studied psychology. She cut her recruiting teeth locally by placing marketing ambassadors, and feels her ability to read people is one of her key attributes. Jaime is passionate about nature and music (maybe why she went to school in Colorado?) and also enjoys painting and reading in her free time. Number one in her heart is her Siberian husky, Lexi-Moo-Cow. And if you play for the Chicago Blackhawks, she would like to speak with you about some of our open opportunities!

nina_strolia NINA STROLIA

CREATIVE CONSULTANT
CHICAGO, IL
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Nina is a graduate of Indiana University. Go Hoosiers!!! During her time at IU, she studied television production and management and had the good fortune to work at WGN-TV as a web content producer. Nina is passionate about the arts and is a major foodie. She spends her free time honing her culinary skills while crushing on Jim Halpert from television’s “The Office.” As if you weren’t already impressed, she loves the Blackhawks and the Cubs, too!

colin_wodarski COLIN WODARSKI

ENTERPRISE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
SEATTLE, WA
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Colin is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, GO HUSKIES! He took the traditional route to recruiting by teaching PE after graduation. Soon after, he was introduced to creative recruiting and never looked back. Colin is fond of our local sports teams, especially the Cubs, Bears, & Blackhawks. He likes to cook (which will be handy at our next pot luck), play golf and loves all things Marvel Comics. And, my guess is that he would whoop you pretty good at Madden Football.

hannah_morgan HANNAH MORGAN

CREATIVE CONSULTANT
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
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A Michigan lifer, Ms. Morgan is chock full of pride for her home town of Grand Rapids. Hannah is a graduate of Grand Valley State (100 points if you can name their mascot), where she studied Spanish and Hospitality Management. After some wayward studying in Costa Rica, Hannah entered the recruiting world in the educational space before finding her way to smartdept. inc. Hannah is a foodie, who boasts of being ridiculously organized and makes happy people jealous because she smiles so much!